SEPANG: World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei returned home today to less fanfare after failing in his bid to win Malaysia’s first world title in badminton.
On Sunday, the 30-year-old suffered leg cramps in his final match against old foe Lin Dan in Guangzhou, China, and was forced to retire.
Chong Wei, was trailing 21-16, 13-21, 17-20 when he retired, allowing the Chinese superstar to claim a record fifth world title.
The Penangite was notably sad after landing at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 6.35pm.
He was greeted by former Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) president Datuk Sri Nadzmi Salleh and gave a short press conference to members of the media.
Chong Wei who made a rather low-key return, was surprised to see his wife – Wong Mew Choo and son, Kingston, at the airport.
There was a significant lack of supporters at the airport, in comparison to last year when he returned with a silver medal from the London Olympics.
Despite the disappointment, Chong Wei is adamant that he will bounce back, with the 2016 Rio Olympics being his main target.
“Now I just need some rest and to spend some time with my family,” said Chong Wei, who may still skip the India Badminton League which starts Aug 14.
“I am disappointed at failing to win the world title but I was simply unable to move during that match.
“The heat certainly affected me but I can’t do anything because Lin Dan had home ground advantage. I will not comment much on it either because I am not in any position to do so.
“But I will definitely be back. My target is the 2016 Olympics and it will not be long before I am back on the court,” added Chong Wei.